My Favorite Red Nail Polish (essie + OPI)

Happy Valentines Day! Thought I would be a little on theme and share my top 5 Essie and OPI red nail polishes with you guys with a little side by side comparison.

Essie (from pinky to thumb): A-List / Jelly Apple / Really Red / Rock the Runway* / Jag-u-are

I know that there can be a million shades of red polish that all look the same but I wanted to just quick share what my favorites are. They each have their time and place in terms of when I want to/will wear them and I'll be the first to admit that there are like 4 exact shades listed. BUT nonetheless, it's fun to compare each of them next to one other and see how they look.

Red nails are my favorite thing. I feel like they've kind of died in popularity (with everyone going pink and neutral) but I just love to look and feel of a red nail. With the exception of like a few weeks in the dead of winter, I really love a true red. Coral undertones and something that just pops. I know Big Apple Red is a go-to red for a ton of people but I just find it a little too dark for my liking. 

The color I've bene wearing for a couple months is Essie's Rock the Runway (pointer finger on my left hand). It's just a very true red and is becoming my favorite Essie color so far -- and I have a lot! It might be my second favorite polish I own behind Red-vival City from OPI.

I don't even know how I got this color or when I started using it but anytime between March and September, this is the color on my nails. I just love it so much, as I think it's the perfect summer red. It's (as you can tell in a few of the photos) a true coral bright red that really pops. So it gives you  a great red look with being a little more summery and fun. Any time I'm using regular polish this is my go-to. A ton of salons carry it as well which is really helpful. There was a point last summer when I carried it in my bag just incase they didn't!

And while I wont go into a ton of detail about each polish (because it can probably get pretty repetitive) I did want to hit on a few points that I think are worth mentioning!

  • A-list is a much darker and deeper red -- this is more of a go to in the winter
  • Jag-u-are has some metallic sparkle to it making it much more of a festive/holiday red
  • Rock the Runway is a gel type polish but is by far my favorite red that Essie makes!

  • I would compare Candied Kingdom and Madam President in the same wheel house as Big Apple Red
  • Color So Hot It Berns would be the closest comparison to Rock the Runway from Essie but a tad darker (perfect for anyone who thinks Rock the Runway is a little too orange)
  • Red-vival City is my favorite red polish of all time(!!!) but if the coral color is too much and you want it toned down a notch, go for We Seafood and Eat It

What is your go-to nail polish color? Any reds that I NEED to know about??


  1. This is such a fun post! I pretty much never do red nails but you might have inspired me next time I go to the salon!

    xoxo A

  2. I love a good red nail, too! One of my faves is from Essie, and called Forever Yummy! Happy Valentine's Day, Krista!!

    xxo Libby

  3. This was such a good read! I'm always one to take forever to pick colors at the nail salon.


  4. OPI Big Apple Red is my tried and true. I went for a burgundy polish over Christmas and New Year's Eve, but really missed the red. I've been wearing red exclusively for like 3 years and I agree, I Love the POP!

    The Champagne Edit

  5. I always have red nails! "Got the Mean Reds" by OPI is my go-to.

  6. I loveeee fifth avenue by essie! It’s my go to bright red with orange undertones

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